FINALLY.. that’s all I need to say to most Leaf fans. Finally Auston Matthews got out of his 13 game goal scoring drought. The Leafs looked really good in the 1st period, scoring some goals and keeping Enroth safe by keeping the Devils from good shot attempts. Then the 2nd period happened, defensive breakdowns, bad defensive breakdowns and suspect goal tending cost the Leafs a 3-0 lead. Frustrating that the Leafs seem to waste the good games Matthews puts in by blowing big leads.
The game was pretty even in every category, just the Devils were capitalizing on the Leafs weak defence. I think both teams could have played a better game tonight and despite the low shot totals there were tons of goals scored. Good and bad for Leaf fans as Matthews played great again but the rest of the team was mostly average. There is still tons of work ahead for this team.
This is becoming a trend early for the Leafs this season, get a lead and then blow it. Good news is that will be fixed with time. Kudos to the Devils for fighting back from 3 goals down. Babcock is still in love with Hyman on the Matthews line, I cant argue with him because he is a decorated coach and I am a Blogger but MAN… The Matthews line needs to cycle the puck and Hyman doesn’t seem to be able to cycle very well as of yet. Id like to see him off that line rather than putting Nylander on the 4th line. These are the lines I would like to see:
JvR, Matthews, Nylander or Marner
Komarov, Kadri, Nylander or Marner
Hyman, Bozak, Brown
Martin, Smith, Sosh
To me that balances out the 1st 2 lines with rookies and vets, and talent wise as well. It creates an amazing 3rd line that can be used in all situations. Very defensive and offensively capable, lets see if that ends up happening down the line. I would also like to see Sparks backing up Anderson. He can play decent and better him to back up the NHL team then back up the AHL team, Let him grow especially now with the rebuilding team. I say why not especially since Enroth hasn’t been very good this season.
Let me know what you think about the game or the lineups I listed. Comment below or on Facebook. Or tweet me @TMLHockeytlk